Research Associates contribute to the work of the Centre through research, analysis and project implementation. 


Dr Khataza Gondwe, Senior Research Associate. Khataza is an expert on religious freedom and human rights in Africa and Middle East. She has conducted extensive field research across both continents, documented and advocated on ethno-religious violence in Nigeria, human rights conditions in Eritrea, over all developments in Sudan, sectarian violence in Egypt and treatment of religious minorities in Iran. She has testified at multiple hearings at the US Congress on issues in Sudan and Nigeria, and delivered talks on Eritrea and Iran. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in French Linguistics and International Relations from the University of Surrey in Guildford (UK) and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Salford in Manchester (UK), Dr Gondwe went on to specialize in human rights and acquired a Doctorate from the University of Limerick in Ireland. She currently works as Africa and Middle East Team Leader at the British human rights organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide.  

Aurangzeb Haneef, Research Associate. Aurangzeb is a PhD candidate in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh where he researches on Islami Intellectual History of the formative period. He has a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School with a focus in Islamic Studies. He also has an International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies from Universidad Jaime I, Spain, where he wrote a thesis on religion, conflict and peacebuilding from an Islamic viewpoint. Aurangzeb has also been teaching undergraduate courses in Islamic Studies and History at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan for the previous four years.

Janice Winter, Research Associate. Janice is a development and governance professional with a specialist focus on Africa. She holds an MSc in Political Science and an MPhil in International Development, both from the University of Oxford. She graduated cum laude and top of her class with a BA in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has worked in research, journalism, civil society programme management, government policy advice, and international grant-making for organisations including the Open Society Foundations, the Centre for the Study of African Economies, the UN‐endorsed Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and the Omidyar Network.

Joshua Andrew Stacey, Research Associate. Joshua Stacey is a MA candidate in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he focuses on the moral anthropology of war, humanitarianism, and suffering. He has ten years of experience working in small, grass-roots non-profit organisations, seven of those in the northern Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. His work has focused either in educational development or social work. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Davidson College, studied Arabic at the American University of Cairo, and completed further post-graduate studies at the American University in Beirut, the Near East School of Theology, and the Global Trauma Recovery Institute.

Hayder al-Khoei, Research Associate. Hayder al-Khoei is an Associate Fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, a London-based think tank on international affairs, with a research focus on Iraq. He was previously a Researcher at the Centre of Academic Shia Studies in London. Hayder holds an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College and a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations from Kingston University. He writes widely on Iraqi and Middle Eastern affairs and has been published by Foreign Affairs, CNN, The Guardian, Al-Monitor, Al-Jazeera and Reuters.

Ali Aslan Gümüsay, Research Associate. Ali is a Doctoral Scholar at Saïd Business School and a Lecturer at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He is a research fellow at LEAD, the Mercator Capacity Building Center for Leadership and Advocacy,  Head of the Advisory Board of the Social Incubator Zahnräder Network. Ali’s research interests include: organisation theory, entrepreneurship, business ethics and leadership particularly at the interconnection of religion and business. Prior to his DPhil, Ali was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. He gained an MSc in Management Research, graduating with Distinction from Saïd Business School and Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Diplôme in Social Sciences from Sciences Po Paris and a First Class Honours for his BSc in Economics, Politics and International Studies at Warwick University. He has a certificate in Islamic Finance Executive Education from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

Kat Eghdamian is a PhD candidate in Human Geography and an ESRC Scholar at UCL. Her research explores the role of religion in humanitarianism with a focus on responses to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. She is a barrister and solicitor with ten years of experience working in human rights advocacy and research, specialising in religious freedom. Kat also holds a First Class Honours degree in Sociology from the University of Auckland, an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics, and an MPhil in International Development from the University of Oxford, where she conducted field research on the experiences of religious minorities among the Syrian refugee population in Jordan

Omar Salha is a PhD candidate and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University of London. He was awarded the Nohoudh Scholarship for the study of 'Integration of Muslims in British Society'. His research explores the study of soft-power, diplomacy, sport and integration. Other research interests include Middle Eastern Politics, International Relations, Islamic Moral Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, Public Relations and inter-faith dialogue. He is the Founder and Director of Ramadan Tent Project, an award winning community-led initiative fostering interfaith community cohesion. He is also a founding member of Football Beyond Borders, a registered UK charity which uses football to inspire young people to achieve their goals and tackle inequality and discrimination. He is also a regular contributor to both international and national print and visual media.

Dr Alexis Bushnell is a Research Associate and the Managing Editor of the Centre for Religion and Global Affairs. She has a PhD in International Human Rights Law and a LL.M. in Peace Support Operations, Conflict and Humanitarian Law. Her research is socio-legal and has focused on refugees and conflict, refugee camps, refugee law, international civil and political rights, architectures of violence and spaces of exception, as well as conflict in Northern Ireland. Alexis teaches human rights law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights as well as for the Open Society Foundation. She has worked in the area of business and human rights and humanitarian law. Her research has focused on the private security industry. She worked for the United Nations in Somalia regarding security contractors and international law. 

Dr Jonas Kurlberg is a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh. He was recently awarded a PhD from the University of Bergen, where he explored British intellectual elites’ responses to the perceived civilisational crisis in the 1930s, with an emphasis on religion and society. He holds a Master of Theology from Brunel University and a Master of Science in Sociology from the London School of Economics. During the final years of the Sri Lankan civil war, he worked as Lecturer and MA Course Leader at the Colombo Theological Seminary.'